Daily Mail : Coroner to investigate the riddle of the spy in a bag nearly two years after his death

Monday, January 30, 2012

Coroner to investigate the riddle of the spy in a bag nearly two years after his death

* A hearing into Gareth William's death to be held in April
* His body was found in a padlocked bag in a bath

By Rebecca Camber | January 30, 2012

An inquest into the death of an MI6 spy is to be held nearly two years after his body was discovered in a locked holdall.

The bizarre death of Gareth Williams, who was found in a padlocked bag in the bath of his central London flat, has baffled detectives.

Despite a series of toxicology tests and an exhaustive investigation into the 31-year-old’s background and his movements, police have been unable to establish what led to his death in August 2010.

Now Dr Fiona Wilcox, the coroner for Westminster, has announced she will hold a full hearing into the death of the spy in April.

She will hold a pre-inquest review on March 29 at Horseferry Road Coroner’s Court, with a full inquest expected to begin three weeks later.

The hearing is expected to call as many as 40 of Mr Williams’s colleagues from GCHQ and MI6 to give evidence, although their testimony is likely to be heard in secret to protect their identities.

The spy’s badly decomposed body was found on August 23 at his flat in Pimlico, barely a mile from the headquarters of MI6 in Vauxhall.

The property was used by MI6 as a safe house. Mr Williams, a cycling enthusiast, had not showed up at work for several days. But it was only when his sister rang police from her home in Chester to say she had not heard from him in over ten days that an officer went to the flat.

There he discovered Mr Williams’s naked body zipped and padlocked in a red North Face holdall. There were no signs of a struggle.

On a table were two iPhones, a number of SIM cards and an Apple notebook computer, suggesting that robbery had not been a motive.

There have been a number of conspiracy theories about Mr Williams’s death, including the possibility of an assassination by a foreign power.

Detectives have, however, discounted many of the more lurid suggestions.

At the time of his death, the mathematician had been seconded from GCHQ in Cheltenham to MI6 to work on top-secret computer systems to detect and prevent cyber-attacks on Britain’s banks and infrastructure and eavesdrop on terrorist communications.